The upcoming Global Black Impact Summit, which is organized by Energy Capital & Power, will explore best practices for Black-owned brands and businesses to find success in the global marketplace
lack-owned businesses have emerged as integral players in the global economy, able to foster economic empowerment and contribute to enhanced diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In the United States, the number of Black-owned businesses increased by nearly 14% pre-pandemic and accounted for a larger share of increases in revenues, employees and payrolls than other racial groups. Marked by rising Black entrepreneurship rates and growing demand for minority-owned businesses, there is a unique opportunity for Black-owned brands to play an even more prominent role in the global marketplace.
The upcoming Global Black Impact Summit (GBIS) – taking place next month in Dubai – will feature panel discussions, workshops and networking sessions on strategies for Black-owned businesses and brands to succeed across markets and customer segments.
Identifying Strategies for Success
Boasting some of the world’s most recognized and fastest-growing brands, the Black business community has positioned itself at the forefront of innovation. From entertainment and fashion to technology and manufacturing, these companies have bridged gaps in their respective industries through pioneering market research, innovative marketing techniques, dynamic partnerships and a strong digital presence, among other key strategies.
Businesses and brands like World Wide Technology, Jay Z’s Roc Nation, BET Networks, Shea Moisture, FUBU, Dangote Group and the African Energy Chamber have successfully thrived in international markets due to their high degree of cultural competence, awareness and adaptability. BET Networks, for instance – since its formation in 1980 by Robert L. Johnson, the first African American billionaire – has evolved into a prominent global television network and earned recognition due to the authenticity of its programming and resonance with its target audience.
As the global economy continues to evolve – shaped by growing demand for innovative and next-generation services – a comprehensive knowledge of customer segmentation and niche and mass markets are crucial to the success of Black-owned businesses across geographies. In this context, companies like Shea Moisture stand out. With a history spanning over three decades, the beauty and personal care brand has garnered global acclaim for its diverse product range that targets a customer segment (women of color) previously ignored by mainstream beauty brands.
Beyond generating revenues, Black-owned businesses play a pivotal role in empowering local communities and alleviating poverty. A notable example is the Dangote Group, established by Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote and serving as one of the largest conglomerates in Africa, spanning industries like construction, consumer goods, logistics, textiles and agriculture. Currently employing over 18,000 individuals across various African markets, the Dangote Group not only stimulates job creation, but also contributes to broad and diversified economic growth in the countries in which it operates.
Black-owned firms also serve as key advocates for enhanced diversity and inclusivity within their respective business environments. An exemplary case is the African Energy Chamber – founded by NJ Ayuk, a Cameroonian attorney, author and businessman – which spearheads initiatives like African Energy Week, championing local and female participation in the energy sector and bringing diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to the forefront of Africa’s energy poverty crisis.
As Black-owned businesses continue to expand, they also contribute to a more competitive and innovative business ecosystem. The success of these companies provides a model for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, fostering entrepreneurship and cultivating diverse talent across industries. Moreover, the success of Black-owned businesses can help address economic disparities and systemic inequalities by providing new avenues for economic participation and wealth accumulation within Black communities.
Celebrating the success of Black-owned businesses on a global scale, GBIS 2024 will host high-level discussions sharing insights and strategies for companies to thrive in international markets, drawing on existing examples of success and innovation.